About Us

The Albert Lea Art Center is located in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Our address is:

Albert Lea Art Center

101 S. Broadway

PO Box 313

Albert Lea, MN 56007

Board Officers: Interim President, Willy Olson; Interim Vice-President, Terry Fox;

Secretary, Carolyn Smith

Board Members: Julie Johnson, Bonnie Wedge, Kari Brick, Lu Callstrom, Beth Tostenson, Bonnie Broitzman, Nicole Morrison, Jerry Tapp, James Sanchez

Artistic Director, Beth Tostenson


Art on Broadway Shop Manager, Charlene Marley


Office Manager, Charlene Marley                                  




With the strong encouragement of local artist, Lloyd Herfindahl, the Albert Lea Art Center was created on March 4,1959 with the choosing of a board of directors and the election of officers, beginning the process of incorporation and the framing of the by-laws. The first meetings and exhibits were held in various businesses in Albert Lea until 1975 when the Art Center purchased the oldest church building in Albert Lea located on 501 West Main Street.


In 1986, with a federal revenue sharing granted provided by the city of Albert Lea and the generosity of the community during a major fund drive, the Art Center was able to purchase the Rivoli Mini Mall at 224 South Broadway. The building, now on the historic registry, was built by Doctor William Bessesen as a conservatory for his wife Beatrice Gjertson Bessesen, an acclaimed opera singer.


In 2005, the building was sold  with the stipulation that the first floor would continue to be a center for the cultural arts in the community and a home for the Albert Lea Art Center. Because of continuing conflict, the Art Center began a search for a new home. With the possible availability of the Freeborn Bank building, the Art Center has entered negotiation with the city of Albert Lea and Cohen-Esrey for the first floor. In 2014, interested citizens initiated a capital campaign for renovation. In the meantime, the Albert Lea Art Center has relocated to 226 W Clark Street as temporary headquarters. 

In September 2018, the Albert Lea Art Center purchased its permanent home located at 101 S. Broadway


ART ON BROADWAY offers the unique opportunity for shoppers to purchase the original works of area artists and writers. Items include:  paintings, pottery, cards, jewelry, books & supplies for the artist.


The gift shop provides space and visibility for artists of southern Minnesota to merchandise their wares to the public. The gift shop also has artists' supplies that are hard to find in local stores.